A Greenwich Council report has revealed that life expectancy in the borough is one of the worst in London.
Figures for “healthy life expectancy” are even worse.
Male healthy life expectancy is 29th out of 33 in London. For women it is 31st out of 33.
The percentage of adults classified as overweight or obese is 27th worst.
There’s a whole number of reasons for this.
Given this site leans towards planning and urban design, I’ll look at that angle. And amongst those reasons must be some of London’s worst streets for walking and cycling. And an apparent reticence to do much about it.
Many times this site has covered how tens of millions of pounds has been received by Greenwich Council from new-build development and has not gone towards improving streets, public realm and parks to alter behaviour and push healthy living.
In just the past two weeks it’s happened again with £1.25 million from a proposed Abbey Wood development and the amounts to be spent from £4.9m obtained from a Charlton development is opaque.
An encouragement of out-of-town retail parks best accessed by car is another factor. Supporting a new road tunnel at Silvertown yet another.
There are some positives however though these are the only two measures out of 22 where Greenwich borough is in the top 10:
- Emergency re-admissions within 30 days of discharge from hospital (%) – 7th best. Good work by social workers.
- Overall satisfaction of carers with social services (%) – 5th best. Well done to the council in that field.
Whilst QE hospital in Woolwich is doing some good work against a rising population, it’s hampered by PFI payments. Even the hospital has poor pedestrian access forcing visitors and patients into the road upon approaching the main entrance:
Based on these numbers Greenwich borough has a problem, and incredibly life expectancy is falling for women compared to 2011-13. Possibly for the first time ever.
This will take action across a whole number of fields to rectify, and will take departments and organisations working together across the board. Will it happen, and will the new authority begin to prioritise spending from Section 106 funds to encourage healthy living to a far greater degree?